by Danil Smolar and Megan O’Keefe
Murch Blue and Gold staff
It’s hard to imagine your teacher as a kid in elementary school.
So when Daniel Marcus showed us a photo of himself as a 6th-grader in a Melbourne, Australia, classroom, it looked old, as if it came from another world.
Mr. Marcus, who now teaches math and science to Murch 5th graders, remembered most of all a three-day field trip to see The Twelve Apostles, which are tall limestone pillars standing in ocean waters “in the middle of nowhere,” Mr. Marcus said. Three days far from his family, with his friends, near the oceanfront: What an adventure it must have been!
Other Murch teachers also shared their childhood memories with us. Some spoke of food or music, others about sports or performances. Still others described the loving atmosphere they felt as students in their classrooms years ago.
Monica Davis, a 4th-grade teacher of history and literature, was a musician as a a 4th-grader in Flint, Michigan. She played the flute in a band. “Going to band practice was the best part of my day,” she said.
Kindergarten teacher Chloe Fisk’s most lasting memory was when she played Oliver Twist in the musical “Oliver” as a 4th-grader in a Kentucky elementary school. “I felt excited to be included in the arts community,” she said.
“I dressed up as Fern, in ‘farm girl’ clothes. I believe it was denim overalls and a flannel shirt. I safety-pinned a spider Beanie Baby to my shoulder to represent Charlotte, and carried a pig Beanie Baby with me to stand in for Wilbur. I loved to dress up. It made me feel free.”
Other teachers remembered simple, warm moments in a classroom.
Meredith Grindrod, who teaches English language arts and social studies to 3rd graders, still talks about the teacher at the piano in her 3rd-grade classroom in Avon, Connecticut. “We sang songs like ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and ‘America the Beautiful.’ I think I still know most of the lyrics,” Ms. Grindrod remembered.
“We would start every morning with a song. Our teacher would print the lyrics and we would all sing together. It was a lovely way to start the day.”
Second-grade teacher Heather Kuduk-Hsu recalled the warmth in her 2nd-grade classroom in Hawkins, Wisconsin. The teacher (Ms. Sika) would read a book and serve milk and cinnamon crackers to all the children.
“Ms. Sika always made us feel loved,” Ms. Kuduk-Hsu recalled.To young Kathleen Bergin, school meant sports. She remembered how active she was in the fifth grade in an elementary school in Hyattsville, Maryland. She played soccer, basketball and softball. Her softball team was especially good.
“We won the championship and we all got jackets and trophies. I was very excited!” she said.
Ms. Bergin, who teaches Murch 1st-graders, is still an active athlete.
“I do not play team sports any more, but I do triathlons. I swim, bike, or run every day and do races in the summer,” she said.
This is the last of a series of selections from the June 2023 Murch Elementary student newspaper, the Blue and Gold. There’s more from this group of talented fourth and fifth grade student reporters in the full newspaper, published here.